Flourless chocolate-pistachio cake

flourless chocolate-pistachio cake (Photo by Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff, food styling by Sheryl Julian and Jill Gibson)
February 9, 2011

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In this Elizabeth David classic, from her recently reissued book, “French Provincial Cooking,’’ ground pistachios take the place of ground almonds in the original recipe. Dust the pan with cocoa, which leaves a cake free of white flour specks. Watch the cooking time carefully; the cake will continue to firm as it cools.

Butter (for the pan)

Unsweetened cocoa powder (for dusting)

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cool liquid coffee

1 tablespoon dark rum

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, finely ground

3 eggs, separated

1 cup heavy cream, softly whipped with 2 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar (for serving)

Handful extra pistachio nuts, finely chopped (for garnish)

1. Set the oven at 300 degrees. Butter an 8-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper. Dust it with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.

2. In a heatproof bowl combine the chocolate, butter, salt, coffee, and rum. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter melt.

3. Stir in the granulated sugar and ground pistachios. Remove the bowl from the water; wipe the bottom dry. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes until it cools slightly.

4. Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture one at a time.

5. In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Stir one-third of the whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whites as lightly as possible. Transfer the batter to the pan.

6. Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake’s center shows only a few crumbs.

7. Set the cake on a wire rack to cool completely. Run a knife around the pan sides to loosen the cake. Release the spring on the pan. With a wide metal spatula, carefully slide the cake off the bottom onto a flat platter. Serve with whipped cream sprinkled with chopped pistachios.

Jill Gibson.

Adapted from “French Provincial Cooking’’